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Yiddish Book Center (Lily)Sheila Horvitz 10Nov2011 Yiddish Book Center (November 10, 2011)

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Sheila Horvitz was interviewed by Mark Gerstein on November 10, 2011 at the Yiddish Book Center.

Sheila Horvitz, a lawyer and former teacher, recounts her life growing up in a strong Yiddish atmosphere in New York City in the 1950s. She describes her mother and grandmother’s emigration from a shtetl in Ukraine during the Russian Civil War in 1921, and she shows documents pertaining to their immigration and arrival in the United States.

Sheila grew up in an orthodox home and she vividly recounts her experiences in synagogue during the high holidays. Sheila’s parents were members of the Workmen’s Circle and they sent her to I.L. Peretz schools where she received a Yiddish and secular education, an experience that Sheila recalls quite fondly.  Her mother considered herself a Yiddishist, playing a key role in keeping Yiddish alive in the community.  Sheila’s mother created the “Yiddish Vinkl,” or Yiddish Corner at their neighborhood synagogue.

Sheila warmly recalls the excitement and intimacy of life in New York City in the 1950s.  As a young teacher in Boston, Sheila also remembers how she experienced anti-Semitism and racism from her co-workers and community members during the tumultuous events of the 1960s. Sheila shares with us some of the Yiddish songs that were important to her mother. Finally, Sheila expresses her concerns regarding passing down Jewish values and culture to subsequent generations.

To learn more about the Wexler Oral History Project, visit:

To cite this interview: Sheila Horvitz Oral History Interview, interviewed by Mark Gerstein, Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project, Karmazin Recording Studio, Yiddish Book Center, November 10, 2011. Video recording, ( [date accessed] )

This movie is part of the collection: Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project

Producer: Yiddish Book Center (Lily)
Audio/Visual: sound, color
Keywords: Family history and stories re. ancestors; Childhood; Jewish Identity; Yiddish language (feelings of/about; meaning; descriptions of); Yiddish learning; Immigration; Migration; and place; Music; Education; Religion and ritual; Family traditions; Jewish holidays; Feminism; Yiddish Book Center; Transmission (intergenerational; cultural; social... parenting); Urban; Advice; Family history; stories about ancestors; Yiddish language; Yiddish revival and activism; Immigration; Migration; Israel; Politics and political movements; Transmission; Roots/heritage; Anti-Semitism; Jewish community; World War Two; Shtetl; Soviet Union; Radio; Martin Luther King; Workmen's Circle; 1940s; 1950s; 1960s; Sheila Horvitz; I.L. Peretz School; New York City; Manhattan; Aaron Lansky; Penn Station; Orthodox; Juilus Rosenberg; Ethel Rosenberg; McCarthyism; Bronx; Queens; Massachusetts; Connecticut; Yiddish Book Center; National Yiddish Book Center; Wexler Oral History Project

Creative Commons license: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0

Individual Files

Movie Files Animated GIF MPEG4 h.264 Ogg Video Thumbnail
FI227-Sheila Horvitz full interview.m4v 343.5 KB 
726.5 MB 
382.3 MB 
275.8 MB 
4.1 KB 
Audio Files AIFF VBR MP3 Ogg Vorbis PNG
AR227_286-Sheila Horvitz - interview with Evelyn Epstein pt.1 801.8 MB 
99.8 MB 
49.7 MB 
7.3 KB 
AR227_287-Sheila Horvitz - interview with Evelyn Epstein pt.2 167.3 MB 
18.2 MB 
9.3 MB 
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AU227-Sheila Horvitz full audio interview 73.7 MB 
34.5 MB 
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Whole Item FormatSize
[generated VBR MP3 ZIP] VBR MP3 ZIP Stream 
Image Files JPEG JPEG Thumb
AR227_493-Sheila Horvitz-American Consular Service Slip 4.4 MB 
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AR227_496-Sheila Horvitz-Romanian passport:travel documents 2.0 MB 
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AR227_497-Sheila Horvitz-Romanian travel document 2 2.0 MB 
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AR227_498-Sheila Horvitz-passenger record 2.0 MB 
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AR227_499-Sheila Horvitz-passenger record ship bio 2.1 MB 
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AR227_500-Sheila Horvitz-Sarah Kaplan US citizenship certificate 2.1 MB 
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AR227_501-Sheila Horvitz-Sarah Kaplan US citizenship certificate 2 2.2 MB 
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AR227_502-Sheila Horvitz-Certificate of Registration American Wall of Honor 4.6 MB 
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AR227_503-Sheila Horvitz-sheet music and Evelyn Epstein program 4.8 MB 
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AR227_504-Sheila Horvitz-Evelyn Epstein pamphlet 2.1 MB 
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AR227_505-Sheila Horvitz-Sheila with Yiddish sheet music 4.7 MB 
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AR227_506-Sheila Horvitz-Evelyn Epstein Memorial Foundation 2.1 MB 
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AR227_507-Sheila Horvitz-Evelyn Epstein Memorial Foundation 2 2.1 MB 
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AR227_508-Sheila Horvitz-Evelyn Epstein bio 5.1 MB 
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AR227_509-Sheila Horvitz-Sheila and her mother 4.7 MB 
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AR227_510-Sheila Horwitz-Evelyn Epstein photo 4.5 MB 
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AR227_511-Sheila Horwitz-photo of the cover to Evelyns memoirs 4.4 MB 
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AR227_513-Sheila Horvitz-Sheila with Yiddish sheet music 2 4.9 MB 
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AR227_514-Sheila Horvitz-Sheila with doc 1 5.2 MB 
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AR227_515-Sheila Horvitz-Sheila with doc 2 5.4 MB 
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AR227_517-Sheila Horvitz-Sheila with Mark 1 4.9 MB 
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AR227_518-Sheila Horvitz-Sheila with Mark 2 4.8 MB 
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AR227_519-Sheila Horvitz-Sheila with Mark 3 4.6 MB 
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AR227_520-Sheila Horvitz-Yiddish handwritten document 1 1.8 MB 
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AR227_521-Sheila Horvitz-family photo 2.1 MB 
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Information FormatSize
SheilaHorvitz10Nov2011YiddishBookCenter_files.xml Metadata [file] 
SheilaHorvitz10Nov2011YiddishBookCenter_meta.xml Metadata 4.6 KB 
Other Files Archive BitTorrent
SheilaHorvitz10Nov2011YiddishBookCenter_archive.torrent 46.2 KB 

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